IMC: The Anatomy of Successful Marketing



They say that duct tape fixes everything. As much as we wish that were true, we also wish that we could tell you that the only advertising dollars you need to spend are on retargeting. Even though retargeting is a crucial component of the marketing mix, other avenues shouldn’t be overlooked. In fact, if you want to be successful, integrated marketing communications (IMC) are a necessity.

Traditionally, IMC is categorized into 6 sections: advertising, public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing, new media and event marketing. Let’s dive a little deeper here.

Advertising – a paid, public announcement about a product or service (ex- banner ads, print ads, billboards, radio spots, and so on). Ads tell people that you’ve got something that they want. You’re probably already familiar with them, so onto…PR!

Public Relations – credible, free(ish) publicity – what’s not to love? (ex- news releases, product placement, testimonials, product reviews, celebrity endorsements, etc.) PR makes people believe that you’re great. It has a more genuine aura than an ad, making it feel more trustworthy. Craft a great PR strategy, and you’ll be well-equipped to steer public opinion.

“Advertising is saying you’re good. PR is getting someone else to say you’re good.”

-Jean Louis Gassee

Sales Promotion – uses an incentive to stimulate sales (ex- free products that encourage purchasing behavior, samples, prizes, rebates). What do you want people to do? Determine what behavior you what to initiate, and base your tactics off of this goal. Incentives encourage behavior.

Direct Marketing – the age-old method of sending marketing material straight to a hand-picked audience still reigns relevant (ex- mail pieces, email, infomercials, telemarketing etc.). This method is expensive, but if you’ve got a great list, it often pays off. Target the right audience, give them a reason to care and carefully craft your verbiage. Believe in its awesomeness.

New Media – Although hard to strictly define (because of its ever-changing nature), in general, it is any form of internet-based, modern marketing (ex- social media, apps, mobile marketing, retargeting etc.). This area is full of potential and unexplored territory. In an evolving marketplace, there’s always a race to be innovative. So if it fits into your overall vision, go for it! Try something new and stay caught up with your buyers.

Event Marketing – makes your product part of a larger experience and builds positive connections (ex- sponsorships, trade shows, cause marketing, interactive kiosks, custom services like event photography). Just think of the all the “official beer of” or “official sponsor” placements you’ve seen. Be a part of your target audience’s best memories by aligning yourself with an event’s image, and you’ll build your brand’s identity.


Image courtesy of AGP & Associates, Inc.

This graphic shows a more segmented depiction of IMC.

Some tactics will overlap categories, and that’s great! Meteora encourage clients to cover as many bases as possible without diluting the message. Determine what combination works best according to what you want to accomplish – then put that strategy into action!

If you want to know more about IMC or improving your retargeting ads, read The Copy Workshop Workbook by Bruce Bendinger. It’s stuck by my side since college and remains a strong influence over my writing and opinions.

Now, go forth into the marketing enigma armed with a well-rounded campaign. Just like this adorable kitten, you’re inches away from reaching your goals with IMC. Continue with confidence, my friends.

cat reaching

kitten photo credit: Malingering via photopin cc

main photo credit: Ted Winder via photopin cc

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